Dutch Wind Cooperative Kennermerwind Update 2013

By Paul Gipe

Still Going Strong after 23 Years! 

I first visited Kennermerwind sometime in 1996 on assignment for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a US environmental group.

I’d heard about the Dutch wind cooperative—one of the first in the Netherlands—for some time and they were the first on my itinerary of community wind projects in Europe.

That was 17 years ago and since then I’d enjoyed leafing through their annual newsletter. It was packed with the kind of information I like—production data. Like cooperatives elsewhere in Europe, they prominently post their production data. (The same can’t be said for North American wind cooperatives.)

Sometime in the past few years I stopped receiving the newsletter and I wondered by they’d sold out, pocketed their profits and gone on to other ventures.

No, they’re still very much in business and they now post their production data on their web site: Coöperative Windenergie Vereniging Kennemerwind.

Kennermerwind generates 13-14 million kWh annually and has grown to 800 members.

Their original Lagerwey 15/75 installed in1989 at Camperduin is still producing after 25 years. And the nine Lagerweys installed a few years later are also still operating after two decades of operation.

They’ve expanded since I photographed their turbines along a canal in 1996 and now own 2.5 Vestas V52s.

They’ve paid off all their original 15-year investors and the coop typical returns 4% to 7% returns per year.

For the Vestas project Kennermerwind used financing from Triodos Bank. One-fourth of the project’s cost was provided by coop members and residents near the turbines with through a bond yielding 8% from 2009 through 2015.

They plan to repower one of their older sites as soon as they can get planning approval.

Kennermerwind remains a pioneer in wind energy in the Netherlands, and a pioneer in local ownership in Northern Europe after nearly a quarter century.

Cooeperatieve Windenergie Vereniging Kennemerwind (1996)